|When the call for Civil War volunteers came from
President Lincoln, the men of Warren County and Hackettstown responded.
Both Captain Holt's Company and Company B, 15th Regiment of the New
Jersey Volunteers were manned with volunteers from Hackettstown and the
The men and boys returned to their homes after the
it was another thirty years before the town erected a monument to
commemorate the local residents who fought, and those that died, while
serving to preserve the Union during the Great Civil War of 1860-1865.
J.W. Fiske Iron Works of New York City was
contracted to manufacture the 19 foot tribute to Hackettstown's Civil
War heroes. On the top stood a life-sized, bronzed statue of a Civil
War soldier. It also included a drinking fountain for humans, basins
for horses and smaller areas for dogs. The statue was funded by three
sources; the Hackettstown Area School Children Monument Penny
Collection ($300.00), local businesses ($200.00) and the Hackettstown
Town Council ($200.00). It was a splendid tribute to those from the
area who served during the Civil War.
The Monument was unveiled and dedicated with
elaborate celebrating on Decoration Day. May 30, 1896. The pastor of
the Presbyterian Church, Reverend J.C. Chapman delivered the dedicatory
oration. There was a parade, firemen in uniform, war veterans and
children carrying American flags. It was all quite impressive.
Thirty years later, this original tribute to the
Civil War soldiers was lost. On December 29, 1926, under a Court Order
to widen State Highway Route 46, the monument affectionately known as
'Billy Yank' was toppled and the metal sold for junk.
The New Billy Yank
In May 1998, several local residents began a
campaign to replace the destroyed Civil War Memorial Statue. A donation
of land approximately 90 feet from the original site was received from
Valley National Bank and Warren County and a contract for the Statue
pedestal and park site plan, which included personalized pavers for the
walkways, was negotiated.
With the assistance and support of All Aboard for
Hackettstown, the Hackettstown Civil War Memorial Monument Committee
successfully spearheaded the effort to replace 'Billy Yank' as a
lasting tribute to our Civil War Soldiers.
The new 'Billy Yank' was five years old on May 28,
2006. It may have taken many decades, but through the patriotism of
local residents, the Civil War monument for which Hackettstown's school
children collected 30,000 pennies in 1896, was finally replaced.
Purchase a Paver
The Monument Committee continues to ensure the
maintenance and upkeep of the Statue. Pavers can still be purchased in
the walkways as memorials or to honor family members. Click here
to open the purchase form.